Pathology has been intersecting with the mankind and the healthcare delivery system since its inception. It is helping clinicians across the world to screen for various diseases such as cancer and other chronic diseases like cystic fibrosis, diabetes mellitus etc. They play a vital role in identifying the illness, monitoring its progression as well as managing therapies. The digital revolution in surgical pathology has begun with the advent of cutting-edge technologies, which is pushing the boundaries of the healthcare industry. The traditional practices are still essential, but the uptake of this inevitable technologies and their implementation are benchmarking their presence globally. This application of digital technology has the potential to transform the world for better.
Change is the only constant in pathology. As such, the pathologists are staying attuned to the ever-changing methods, ideas, needs, and expectations of the clinician partners by mastering the clusters of differentiation and cascades of pathology. With a novel digital platform, they are a rolling out expert advices and staying abreast of their diverse fields. Mysterious concepts, magical wand of techniques and instruments that were once confined to the research laboratory are now continually finding their way into the daily clinical practice unfolding the loops of pathology going digital.
With the advent of new technologies, inventors and developers are scrambling the pathology space to reduce the unwanted obstacles related to patents concern. The use of digital technology has meticulously disrupted the healthcare space and introduced the world with prominent innovations in pathology. Lab-to-Lab communications have become easier through direct interfaces with Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) and Laboratory Information Systems (LIS). Integration of the management of laboratory test results across multi-site labs is increasing the efficiency of processing data and supporting the function of multi-disciplinary teams by using different lab information systems. Offering out-of-the-box virtual pathology services in remote areas and facilitating consultations is now taking pace. Also, sharing information is improving patient care with advanced electronic health records and helping them with long-term conditions to self-manage their disorders. Further, Data mining is obtaining business intelligence and improving the pathology services and patient outcomes.
Bucketful of Benefits
Digital pathology enables instant sharing of the results among multiple departments and colleagues including digital images, computerized quantitative analysis, reduce risk of breaking glass slides in transit as well as distant interpretation of frozen sections. These advantages help speeding up the diagnostic accuracy and turnaround times. Quality assurance (QA) can be dynamically improved with digital pathology. It reduces manual errors with its automatic case reviews leading to tracking of slide assessments for completeness. It ultimately empowers image analysis efficiency, precision and reproducibility. With pathology space going digital, the inherent robustness and longevity of digital slide teaching sets are outshining the traditional glass sliders. Other benefits include the ability to scan a single tissue sample. The digital pathology technology is showcasing significant benefits for the betterment of the healthcare industry and the market for it is growing in an impulsive way.
The Thumb Rule
For the application of digital pathology technology, a definite amount of bench space is needed. Along with scanning slides, digitizing them, adding metadata and sending them to a computerized library, it also deals with the high resolution and highly detailed images. Acknowledging the real challenge of storage of images, the pathologists have to frame a platform of smooth storage in order to make the files easily viewable to others. Taking care that the slides and images would be displayed in the same way to other pathologists is also essential. Prioritizing the correct equipment setup would help in prompt differentiation between optical and digital images. Reliable network and internet bandwidth are also the important factors which can lessen the strain on a pathology lab’s IT system.
The Futuristic Wave
With massive overhaul, digital pathology is all set to transform the healthcare world by offering benefits to both pathologists and patients. Digital pathology technology will excavate remarkable opportunities for the existing as well as emerging businesses to grow. Pathologists would able to perform the lab operations in a better manner than ever before, thereby obtaining faster results for an up-scaling of the industry. This right formula coupled with the lab abilities would successfully unlock newer success doors for the mankind.
Digital pathology will also create fresh openings form the legal, security, privacy, and confidentiality standpoints in the near future. It will reinforce standardization across the board for the new-age organizations. It will reveal more powerful digital imaging methods leading to an effective use of tools and enhance profitable outcomes to support the Indian economy. Making a push to adopt digital pathology, pathologists are on a way to trudge into the future with exponential colors. While the future of digital pathology market looks promising and companies have started taking different approaches to gain a foothold in this space, it will be interesting to see how this market pans out over the next few years.